Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted that his Manchester United counterpart, Louis van Gaal, may well have been surprised by the standard of England’s top flight, despite his illustrious managerial career.
As relayed by ESPN, the Northern Irishman talked up Van Gaal’s credentials, but said that the Premier League is played at a higher level than the rest of the league’s the Dutchman has worked in.
Rodgers on LVG
The Red Devils boss has been the main man in the dugout at such clubs as Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and also managed the Holland national side in two different spells, but Rodgers thinks he may have had a rude awakening.
"Even he would say that coming into the Premier League is different to where he's worked before. The competition in this country is far greater," Rodgers said.
"He's shown over his career that he's a top-class manager. He'll have seen coming into this country for the first time, the challenges of football here.
"This is the most competitive league in the world. If you've spent your career in the Premier League, it's different to the other leagues.
"But I don't think you can argue about his credentials. He's put philosophies in place at Ajax, Barcelona and AZ. If he ever leaves United, he'll still have been one of the great managers.
Van Gaal's reign
After a tricky start which saw United lose on the opening day of the season, at home to Swansea City, Van Gaal has managed to steer the ship around and the side are now sitting in a very comfortable position in the league. If Champions League qualification was the aim the objective looks set to be ticked off, and a win over Liverpool at Anfield this weekend would take them a giant step closer.
Van Gaal will face off against Brendan Rodgers tomorrow afternoon knowing that his men might well find themselves in second place if they can claim three points, should other results also go their way. Finishing as runners-up would be an exemplary achievement given the woes the club faced last year, although the pressure will then be on Van Gaal to continue making progress.
The Dutchman might be charged with winning major silverware next season, and if he can’t give them that the board may deem that someone else is better equipped to lead United into a new era. This campaign will go on record as a success, but what the future holds remains to be seen.
United fans, do you think Van Gaal’s initial teething problems are over? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...